Perfection vs. imperfection. I tell myself that as my weaknesses and imperfections as a person, mother, and family improve, then I'll be perfectly happy. I tell myself that once perfection is obtained, I will be a happy, content, and calm person. I tell myself that when there are things that aren't matching up with what I consider "perfect", then I have failed.
This perfection for oneself, one's family, one's home, one's abilities, one's children is rapidly debilitating women and, more importantly, mothers. Many of you that I have talked to carry the same burden.
After aiming so high with too many things in life, sometimes I begin to only see the failures and imperfections, always longing that that perfect day will come and honestly believing that that is when I will be perfectly content with myself and others. Life is beginning to teach me otherwise. That day will never come, so I must either choose peace and happiness in my imperfect state, or keep reaching for something that only brings disappointment and guilt.
There is a long list that I have (and many of you have shared yours with me), of things that we expect to be perfect in (or believe we should be perfect in because of others) and only drag ourselves over the grate when we're not there. Let's see, it isn't very hard to come up with a list:
- a perfect manicured yard and bountiful garden
- a consistently tidied house by always willing children
- a beautiful, healthy, warm meal every single day
- a perfectly flowing routine or schedule that isn't ever affected by interruptions
- a patient and loving mother who is always understanding and speaks to her children with a gentle tone
- a properly dressed woman who has salon-styled hair first thing in the morning
- a woman who seamlessly organizes her day so absolutely everything is accomplished and in order to simply lounge with a book every night
- a woman who doesn't forget appointments, always plans ahead, and gives birthday cards to the mail man
- a woman who hosts extraordinary parties where everything goes smoothly and she is totally at ease
- a mother who can give all of her children everything they need in every moment
- a perfectly fit woman that looks just as good as the most recent magazine cover
- well dressed children with combed hair, matching shoes, prepared every morning to perfection...
Must I continue? I think you get the idea. So many books, blogs, magazines, movies, and shows tell me that I'm supposed to do it all and do it perfectly. I'm somehow supposed to do everything well and beautifully. That imperfection, failure, and mistakes aren't acceptable. Well, expecting perfection in my home with four children along my side everyday isn't even possible.
Why is it that we get caught in this idea that we must try to prove that we've got it all down? The more I try to "have it all down" in every aspect of my life I become uncontent, judgmental of others, constantly comparing, never reaching outward, and always hollow. Never able to please anyone, especially myself.
My approach to life now is to try my best for me, not anyone else, and find happiness right now with who I am. I am beautiful, with my imperfections and weaknesses. I can tell you how hard that is when everything around me shouts that I am not enough. Oh course, this is killing a woman's identity, confidence, and love for herself. Of course, this is keeping us from doing great, bold things because we are trying to keep up with a so-called perfect image.
Well, I've had enough and I want to take a stand. I want you to take a stand against the ideal, photoshoped woman that has it all, as well. If each of us combats this disease we can be incredible. If we each stop looking around us for direction and approval and start looking in the mirror, we will conquer this. And guess what? We will start a revolution and the world will change, one person, one home, one community at a time.
I want your feedback this morning. Where do you struggle? How will you take a stand and regain your power, strength, and individuality? Let's begin this revolution together...
the sleepy time gal